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A Gypsy In Auschwitz: How I Survived the Horrors of the ‘Forgotten Holocaust’

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It’s truly remarkable when I find myself reading true stories and I love the whole back ground building up the further you read.

As you begin to read, you soon realize that you are hearing the story from the perspective of a young boy. When their documents are stolen or destroyed, they can't prove how many family members have been murdered by the state. Otto noticed that his family began to be broken up and people would often disappear, some were also ‘sent East’. He learned that the entire Birkenau Gypsy camp has been liquidated Including his grandmother and cousins and grandchildren were wiped out who had remained in Auschwitz. This is a strikingly honest book and Otto painfully discloses how the constant exposure to violence and death dehumanised everybody in the concentration camp, prisoners and guards alike.I loved his pride throughout all of it, his commitment to help all the others who have gone through the same experience. Many holocaust stories only give you a glimpse of the victim, but here we see that of those who neglected to help and added to the problem. This is a book that will leave its readers gasping as they struggle to understand the brutality that occurred at that time. In Berlin, with his grandmother, he lived in a trailer, in a gated, privately rented land, along with lots of other trailers. Deeply moving, A Gypsy in Auschwitz is the incredible story of how a young Sinti boy miraculously survived the unimaginable darkness of the Holocaust.

His survivor's guilt is palpable throughout and although he only shared his memories many years afterwards, it's obvious how they continued to haunt him right up until his own death. But to be denied food, the love of your family, poor health and suffering so unbearable its hard to talk about. Otto had a big family with his mother and father splitting up and having children with different partners. Otto's tales of endurance from the camps catalogue the horrors, ranging from the lice ("If you shook a blanket, they would scatter everywhere like grains of sand.He works, scrounges food whenever he can, witnesses and suffers horrific violence and is driven close to death by illness more than once. There are also disturbing reminders of how many seemingly good people witnessed these events unfolding. In fact it makes it all the more horrifying, because we know, that having endured unimageable suffering, he would have as many did, found it difficult to talk about his experiences. The pain seeps into your mind and your heart and the writing and story will haunt me for a long time. He also considers the difficulties of having so many people of different nationalities and languages crammed in together.

It emotionally hurts to the point of your heart aching to how they then got treated during this difficult time. I have read a number of books about the Auschwitz concentration camps and each one is equally as heartbreaking as the other.I do struggle with the names of locations so I found myself googling how to pronounce the places and where they were so I could truly understand everything. I felt sick to my stomach the whole way through, the thought of someone going through something so horrific is just heartbreaking and unimaginable. Also that the way these war criminals, and they are criminals, just slid into important roles in every industry in the post-war era.

This book sensitively describes the suffering of women, particularly in the loss of their fertility from forced sterilisation and their repeated sexual assaults by the SS. Later after the concentration camp he was back with his grandmother after living with his dad at the age of five in berlin. I have read a lot of stories about World War II; both military and personal, many of these exploring the plight of Jewish people during the Holocaust, so reading a book that recounts the suffering that Sinti and Roma Gypsies experienced in Nazi Germany was fairly new to me.Nazi anthropologists and scientists collected his genealogy, but after the war they refuse to recognise his relationship with his mother and siblings due to the lack of paperwork. Otto Rosenberg legacy was his bravery in telling his story to the world, to overcoming the trauma he suffered, so others don’t ever have to again. It is a hard-hitting story through the eyes of Otto and one that needs to be learned from if we ever want to live in peace. this is where the story of Otto gets really hard and where we meet the side of the Gypsies' stories.

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